January 24, 2024 // Diocese

Sharing the Good News Through Our Catholic Schools

By David Maugel, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

David Maugel, Superintendent of Catholic Schools

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend continues to be blessed with so many outstanding teachers, staff, and administrators who have answered the call to serve in the ministry of education throughout our diocese. Teachers, in collaboration with their administrators, have worked tirelessly to address identified priorities through our Diocesan Accreditation in the areas of Catholic Identity and Mission, Aspiring Catholic Leaders, Curriculum, Operational Vitality Metric, and Enrollment Management.

I have witnessed teachers and administrators living our mission – “The mission of the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is to evangelize and form disciples of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church through the ministry of education” – through ongoing formation and professional development during our annual Mission and Curriculum days each year. Additionally, there seemed to be stronger intention from everyone participating in the formational opportunities to connect themselves and what they do on a daily basis to the truth, beauty, and goodness of our Catholic faith.  

During the Diocesan Mission Day, we all experienced joy and excitement for the Eucharist from Franciscan Father Agustino Torres in his keynote, “The Eucharist as Relationship, Identity, and Mission in Our Schools.” Father Torres was able to connect for us the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist and its foundation in building a relationship with Jesus Christ and developing the individual school charisms to foster discipleship in our mission in our Catholic schools. I was excited to hear from many teachers and administrators who shared how motivated they felt from Father Torres’ keynote and his authentic witness as they take on the challenges of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

During the Diocesan Curriculum Day, Brett Salkeld offered a presentation on “Making Every Class Catholic,” utilizing his book, “Educating for Eternity: A Teacher’s Champion for Making Every Class Catholic.” After teachers gained insights through Salkeld’s keynote on how to bring the truth, beauty, and goodness alive for students in each of their classrooms, they collaborated on implementing concepts with their curriculum frameworks for English and math. Guided by principal leadership, the elementary schools worked within geographical cohorts to foster deeper understanding of Catholic faith that could be embedded throughout all subjects and content areas. Meanwhile, the high schools collaborated within departments based on specific content areas. This work is challenging because we all have our own faith journey that adds to the discussion on how to authentically bring the Church’s teachings and the personal faith journey of educators into the classroom in all subjects. Principals assisted teachers in identifying a reasonable level of implementing our Catholic faith in each course’s curriculum framework.

A team of principals developed three levels of implementation in collaboration with the Catholic Schools Office – Foundational, Progress, and Ultimate levels. The Foundational level utilizes Google slides and may include poster displays in the classroom to be referenced during every lesson connecting the Catholic Curriculum Standards and virtues for each lesson. The Progress level combines the Google slides with the classroom teacher’s Catholic faith formation that is expressed verbally or with pictorial representation shaping it into a more authentic experience. The Ultimate level combines the Google slides, classroom teacher’s Catholic faith formation, and Church traditions, teachings, and resources throughout each lesson regardless of the subject. While we have a variety of levels of implementation, I have experienced many teachers and principals willing to continue to set their sights on the Ultimate level of implementation. The English and math frameworks will have a refresh completed at the end of January and then we’ll begin the work on social studies and science. Please pray for all of us during this journey of embedding our Catholic worldview throughout all we do.

As we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week from Sunday, January 28, through Saturday, February 3, I would like to end by saying thank you to all the teachers, staff, and principals who, on a daily basis, provide God’s love, grace, and mercy in the ministry of education.

David Maugel is Superintendent of Schools of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

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